5 Ways To Foster Contentment In The Workplace
By: Vanderbloemen March 27, 2017
Part of my role as an Executive Search Consultant is, at times, interviewing someone who isn't happy in their current position. For one reason or another, they feel that they need to move to the next level, are not being paid enough, are feeling a "holy dissatisfaction," or are simply unhappy with their responsibilities or manager.
There are many different reasons for being unhappy with a position, and many of those reasons could be very valid. Each person has to determine what is the cause of their discontentment and why are they looking to leave the current job that they are in.
If you think that your job discontentment is temporary and something you should work and pray through, this post is for you. As I was reading in the New Testament the other day, I came across where the Apostle Paul writes that he has “learned the secret of living in every situation.” This statement caught my attention. As I continued to read, Paul says the secret is “contentment.” So how do you foster workplace contentment in every situation, whether it is a tough job, an unhealthy workplace, or a position where you don't "fit."
A few years ago, I came across a great book, Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. In the book, Linda introduces us to a woman named Ella:
“Ella worked as a missionary with the pygmies in Africa for 52 years. She had left her country, her family, and all that was familiar. Primitive doesn’t begin to describe her living conditions in the scorching heat and humidity of the African bush. But Ella found no relief because electricity, air conditioning, and other modern conveniences were only a dream.”
Linda became friends with Ella’s daughter who had found an old diary of her mother’s, and in the diary she discovered Ella’s prescription for contentment. Not only are these wise ideas to foster contentment in all of life (especially in our social media-saturated world), I think these are great points to apply to workplace discontentment as well:
1. Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not even the weather.
2. Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
3. Never compare your lot with another's.
4. Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
5. Never dwell on tomorrow – remember, that is God’s and not ours.
These are great principles to live by no matter what our situation is. So, think about what is causing your unhappiness with your current work situation. Are there valid reasons that you should be searching or do we need to learn how to deal with our dissatisfaction? This line from a Sheryl Crow song sticks out to me: "It’s not about having what you want, but wanting what you’ve got." That's a great phrase to consider as your pray through and contemplate your next steps.
What are some ways you can practice contentment in the workplace?
If you liked this, you'll also enjoy Job-Seekers: Is The Grass Really Greener?